looking toward lent

I began yesterday to write a daily devotional for my old church in Brussels for March. I used to do this when I was a member there and really loved it, so when they asked me to help out again this month, I was so thrilled to be writing again.

The whole of March is in Lent this year (Lent begins on Wednesday 22nd Feb and runs until Easter day on 8th April). Lent is probably my favourite season in the Christian calendar. I appreciate the stillness and simplicity of this 40 days. I value the time to refocus my life, throw out bad habits that have crept in, realign myself to follow the path that Jesus walked.

So it is a special treat for me to be diving in to this season two weeks early, reading and researching and suggesting ways that the church can realign itself to God’s kingdom this year.

Because how easy it is to slip off the path we’d like to be walking. We all live with certain beliefs about how life should be lived, we all have values that we hold to – how we should spend our time, our money, how we should eat and drink, how we should treat our families. But it is all to easy to let the pressures of daily life crowd out those ideals and good intentions.

Did you make New Years resolutions? Maybe that’s a sore question if you look back and realise how little you’ve actually been resolved the last six weeks. I could have been braver. It’s easy to let defeat take over and to think, there’s no point making resolutions, I’ll never keep them. There’s no point trying to change that part of me, because it never works.

It is a relief to me that lent always comes so early in the calender year. It offers me the chance to pause and remember again the reason for living, the reason for not giving up: the story of a man who came and demonstrated a better way and ensured we did not need to live in defeat.